skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Review Of Laser Lightcraft Propulsion System

Abstract

Laser-powered 'Lightcraft' systems that deliver nano-satellites to LEO have been studied for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The study was built on the extensive Lightcraft laser propulsion technology already developed by theoretical and experimental work by the AFRL's Propulsion Directorate at Edwards AFB, CA. Here we review the history and engineering-physics of the laser Lightcraft system and its propulsive performance. We will also review the effectiveness and cost of a Lightcraft vehicle powered by a high-energy laser beam. One result of this study is the significant influence of laser wavelength on the power lost during laser beam propagation through Earth's atmosphere and in space. It was discovered that energy and power losses in the laser beam are extremely sensitive to wavelength for Earth-To-Orbit missions, and this significantly affects the amount of mass that can be placed into orbit for a given maximum amount of radiated power from a ground-based laser.

Authors:
 [1];  [2]
  1. Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin, 11855 Research Blvd., Austin, TX 78759 (United States)
  2. Propulsion Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Edwards AFB, CA 93524 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
21137112
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: AIP Conference Proceedings; Journal Volume: 997; Journal Issue: 1; Conference: 5. international symposium on beamed energy propulsion, Kailua-Kona, HI (United States), 12-15 Nov 2007; Other Information: DOI: 10.1063/1.2931899; (c) 2008 American Institute of Physics; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; AIR; BEAMS; EARTH ATMOSPHERE; ENGINEERING; LASERS; ORBITS; PERFORMANCE; PLASMA; PROPULSION; PROPULSION SYSTEMS; REVIEWS; VEHICLES; WAVELENGTHS

Citation Formats

Davis, Eric W., and Mead, Franklin B. Jr. Review Of Laser Lightcraft Propulsion System. United States: N. p., 2008. Web. doi:10.1063/1.2931899.
Davis, Eric W., & Mead, Franklin B. Jr. Review Of Laser Lightcraft Propulsion System. United States. doi:10.1063/1.2931899.
Davis, Eric W., and Mead, Franklin B. Jr. Mon . "Review Of Laser Lightcraft Propulsion System". United States. doi:10.1063/1.2931899.
@article{osti_21137112,
title = {Review Of Laser Lightcraft Propulsion System},
author = {Davis, Eric W. and Mead, Franklin B. Jr},
abstractNote = {Laser-powered 'Lightcraft' systems that deliver nano-satellites to LEO have been studied for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The study was built on the extensive Lightcraft laser propulsion technology already developed by theoretical and experimental work by the AFRL's Propulsion Directorate at Edwards AFB, CA. Here we review the history and engineering-physics of the laser Lightcraft system and its propulsive performance. We will also review the effectiveness and cost of a Lightcraft vehicle powered by a high-energy laser beam. One result of this study is the significant influence of laser wavelength on the power lost during laser beam propagation through Earth's atmosphere and in space. It was discovered that energy and power losses in the laser beam are extremely sensitive to wavelength for Earth-To-Orbit missions, and this significantly affects the amount of mass that can be placed into orbit for a given maximum amount of radiated power from a ground-based laser.},
doi = {10.1063/1.2931899},
journal = {AIP Conference Proceedings},
number = 1,
volume = 997,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Apr 28 00:00:00 EDT 2008},
month = {Mon Apr 28 00:00:00 EDT 2008}
}